Weekend in Instagram

Phil went away on Friday afternoon so I've had the place to myself this weekend. I still kind of hate it when he goes away (not much has changed in the last year), but I've actually had a pretty nice time!

Friday was a long day, so I treated myself to a bottle of wine and a quiet night in. Whenever Phil goes away I buy a block of tofu because I'm determined to find a recipe I like before I subject him to it. And this time it finally happened! Oh She Glows' crispy breaded tofu strips are the BOMB! I also borrowed season 2 of Girls from my best friend, Eve, which is funny because in my post last year I talked about watching Season 1 while Phil was away, so it's taken me over a year to start it again!
With Phil away I couldn't make it to our usual parkrun, so I headed on the bus (free bus travel is one of the perks of working for the bus company!) to our old parkrun, or as we nickname it, parkswim. Phil hates going to South Manchester parkrun because the first 1/2 mile (and last 1/2 mile) is almost entirely ankle-deep puddles on a bad day. Yesterday wasn't too bad - the bog of doom is ever-present but the rest of the puddles weren't too bad - and I managed a course PB!
Post-parkrun brunch is one of my all-time favourite meals, but I couldn't decide what I wanted. I made some breakfast potatoes and then remembered I had a block of halloumi in the fridge, so I made this weird combo breakfast bowl of overcooked kale, potatoes, halloumi and portobello mushroom.
My friend Riven was coming for dinner, so after a quick trip to Aldi, I started my preparations. I made mushroom and walnut pate from Veganomicon for a starter and slutty brownies for dessert. I also cleaned the flat, and wrote a couple of blog posts (one of which is Lessons from 3 years of running that I posted yesterday) while watching football. 

My little dinner party went well! I served the pate with (not homemade) crackers, and followed it with Aine Carlin's pea and mint risotto, although I accidentally added way too much mint-infused oil! We rounded the dinner off with brownies and a brew!
Today began with my first Sunday "long-ish" run in absolutely weeks. It was so good to get back out with a podcast on a Sunday morning for an hour or so. I ran 6 miles but realised when I didn't hear my watch bleep after a mile that I'd forgotten to turn it on, so my watch is a mile short!
At lunchtime I met up with cousin for lunch and a catch up. We went to Cafe North in Shudehill, which I hadn't been to before (I'm obsessed with trying new places in Manchester and try to avoid going somewhere I've been to before unless I really love it!), and I had avocado on toast with poached eggs and smoked salmon. It was as delicious as it sounds, and the little touches really made it - half a lime, a handful of coriander and the waiter brought me over a small dish of red chilli which complemented the dish perfectly. 
After a mooch round the shops and a stop in Sugar Junction for a pot of tea and a slice of cake, I headed back home to veg out in front of the football for the afternoon! I wrote another blog post (I am on a roll this weekend!) and made a batch of red cabbage in the slow cooker. 

Then I made one of the best dinners I've made in ages. I really could not be bothered. After making a three course meal yesterday the last thing I wanted to do was make a recipe that involved a dozen ingredients. I forced myself not to make another batch of breaded tofu strips by reminding myself I'd already bought all the ingredients and didn't want to end up finding mouldy green beans in the bottom of the fridge in a fortnight. I vaguely followed Anna Jones' recipe for Buddha Bowls with a few changes - I didn't make my own massaman paste, but used some I'd bought from the Chinese supermarket, I used cashews in place of peanuts, pressed, sliced and baked my tofu, and used my homemade red cabbage in place of the carrot pickle. It was absolutely divine. I'm so glad I have loads of leftovers to enjoy! It also came together much more quickly than I expected and I reckon could even be do-able midweek. I basically wrote this entire blog post just so I could talk about it and post HOW PRETTY IT IS.
I plan to spend the rest of my evening watching (even more) football, doing my nails, reading my book (I'm reading It at the moment and cannot.put.it.down) and going to bed before 9.30pm.

Hope your weekend has been lovely, too!

Charlotte x


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